PFF gives Jaguars favorable ranking for managing the salary cap the last 3 years

The Jacksonville Jaguars have done a good job of managing the salary cap and that's reflected in Pro Football Focus' latest salary cap ranking.
Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp
Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp / James Gilbert/GettyImages

The Jacksonville Jaguars have built a well-rounded roster over the last three years and they've done so with a balanced salary cap. Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus has noticed and took it into consideration when putting together a recent ranking.

Spielberger recently ranked all NFL clubs by how well (or badly) they've managed their salary cap and placed Jacksonville at No. 11, noting that having gone into a spending spree last year paid off, as most of the players they signed went on to make an impact.

The whole post is behind a paywall, so we can't share it, but Spielberger says considered every team's veteran valuation (without counting rookies, how talented their roster is), active draft capital and total prorated money and free agent valuation in 2024 when sorting out the ranking.

Here are the team's that made the top 10 of Spielberger's ranking: The Cincinnati Bengals (1), the New England Patriots (2), the New York Jets (3), the Chicago Bears (4), the Detriot Lions (5), the Minnesota Vikings (6), the Carolina Panthers (7), the Atlanta Falcons (8), the Washington Commanders (9), and the New York Giants (10).

Of the bunch, only Cincy, the Vikings and the Giants qualified for the postseason in 2022. Meanwhile, several clubs in the 10s reached the playoffs last year and are projected to contend next season, including the Dallas Cowboys, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Miami Dolphins.

The Jaguars have gotten positive results from their approach to the salary cap

Former Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell became known for either letting team's best players walk (Allen Robinson) or trading them for future assets (Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, Jalen Ramsey) . Sure, center Brandon Linder, wide receiver Allen Hurns and linebacker Myles Jack got long-term deals but they were the extension not the norm.

Since Trent Baalke took over the front office he's spare no expenses to load up on talent. In his first year on the job, 2021, the Jags didn't make many huge signings besides cornerback Shaquille Griffin (no longer with the team) and safety Rayshawn Jenkins. But he made up for it by locking up some of the best free agents available in the open market last year.

Baalke originally got several blank stares for giving top-market deals to Zay Jones and Christian Kirk last year but both players went on to have banner years. The same is true for tight end Evan Engram, who set new career bests for catches and receiving yards in a season. On defense, cornerback Darious Williams solidified the spot opposite Tyson Campbell while linebacker Foyesade Oluokun had a huge impact on and off the field.

However, Baalke took a different approach this year. Instead of continue to load up on talent, he mostly made depth signings because many prominent Jaguars players will be eligible for extensions in 2024, so the team needs to save up money if they want to keep as many of them beyond next season.

In the end, having a healthy cap allows the Jacksonville Jaguars to acquire talent and build a foundation for the future. Based on the worked they've done, it's easy to picture them becoming a perennial contender in the next few years.